Winter is for reading!

It’s raining and cold and what better time of year to snuggle up with a good gardening book and dream of spring. Two good ideas just (Jan. 3) landed in my email inbox that you might like to read:

Butterflies in Your Backyard

Published by North Carolina State University’s Cooperative Extension Resources, “Butterflies in Your Backyard” is available as a website or downloadable pdf. The most common butterflies encountered in North Carolina are included. Fortunately it’s geared for home gardeners, and Table 1 includes 94 native host plants listed by scientific and common name, divided by type of plant (tree, vine, herb, etc.) and includes the butterfly larvae the plant hosts. If you search around on the NCSU extension site you can find a number of excellent publications to review this winter (or anytime time really).



While the scope of this list is national, each of the 100 plants listed includes a map for reference , and the text lists cultivars and species for specific regions. They do emphasize using native plants, but some bee friendly non-native plants may be included.  The promotional note on the Storey Publishing Company website for 100 Plants to Feed the Bees says:

The international bee crisis is threatening our global food supply, but this user-friendly field guide shows what you can do to help protect our pollinators. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation offers browsable profiles of 100 common flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees that attract bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. The recommendations are simple: sow seeds for some plants — such as basil, rhododendron, and blueberries — and simply don’t mow down abundant native species, including aster, goldenrod, and milkweed. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees will empower homeowners, landscapers, apartment dwellers — anyone with a scrap of yard or a window box — to protect our pollinators.

If you want to learn more you can follow the helpful links including Carolinas Butterfly Society’s page.